Trump: Avoid restaurants, bars as states, cities impose restrictions
President Donald Trump on Monday urged Americans to avoid bars and restaurants, but stopped short of making a national policy of the actions that some state and local governments have taken to force their closures.
At a White House press conference, Trump also said the economy might go into a recession and that the policy of social distancing could last until July or August.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force released a two-page graphic that urged people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and to get takeout rather than going to restaurants and bars.
Earlier in the morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a news conference that was covered on CNN in which he called for more federal leadership.
Cuomo said he had reached agreements with the governments of Connecticut and New Jersey so that the policies of the three states would be the same, particularly on bar and restaurant closures, but made the point that such policies should be national.
And in the San Francisco Bay Area, six counties announced a “shelter in place” order for all residents through April 7.
The San Francisco Chronicle said the policy is “the strictest measure of its kind yet in the country — directing everyone to stay inside their homes and away from others as much as possible for the next three weeks as public health officials desperately try to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus across the region.”
The directive begins at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and involves San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties — a combined population of more than 6.7 million, the Chronicle noted.
In another reaction to the coronavirus crisis, the Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services announced it was closing all its offices, but that people who wish to apply for food assistance and other benefits can apply online.
The District of Columbia government suspended table seating in restaurants from 10 p.m. tonight until April 1 at 6 a.m., but said restaurants may operate grab-and-go services.